You Can Make Homemade Ramen With Just 5 Ingredients

Ramen can be made at home.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Making homemade ramen is not as easy as it may sound. Sure, you can open a package of the instant stuff and call it ramen but that's not why we go out of our way to have the real thing at our ramen places.

However, there's a reason why ramen costs so much! Authentic ramen is a time-consuming, effort laden dish. There are several ingredients in each of the components of the dish. If you have the right ingredients, enough time, practice patience, and use the techniques necessary, you can have authentic ramen at home.

Who has the time and energy to do all the work necessary? 

Not us! That's why we can hack a pretty good ramen recipe with a few ingredients that we can get from your local Japanese store or even substitute a few of the ingredients if you just can't find these ingredients.     

Here are the ingredients you need to hack a pretty delicious tasting ramen soup without the hassle of having to do all the work: 

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Photo by from PickPic
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1 Chicken Stock 

Just like with any recipe, you have to start with a good base and a chicken stock that is flavorful is a good way to start this ramen recipe. However, this isn't the only ingredient you need to pull this off. You'll need to hack this chicken stock so it can transform into a soup that's closer to ramen than just your usual sabaw.

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If you really want to do something homemade with this recipe, this is the ingredient you should make from scratch. What's wonderful about this is that it's easy to make at home, and you don't even need a fresh chicken to do it. (You can buy the soup pack from your butcher.) You can use the carcass of your roast chicken or the bones from your fried chicken dinner to make a tasty homemade stock. These still contain flavor that can be transferred to a soup.   

Here's how to make homemade chicken stock

  1. 1. In a large stockpot filled halfway with water, add the 1 kilo chicken bones (soup pack), 1 medium red or white onion, halved, 1 bunch celery tops, 1 carrot, roughly chopped, and 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns. 
  2. 2. Bring to a boil, and lower heat to a simmer, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface. Once clear, simmer for 3 to 4 hours until a taste reveals that the rich flavors from the chicken has been transferred to the stock. 
  3. 3. Strain (Shred any chicken meat and store for another use if desired.) and cool completely for storing.        

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2 Dried Wakame or Kombu 

The wakame or kombu is an ingredient that you usually use for miso soup. If you love miso soup, you know this ingredient comes in a large bag of the dried seagrass. You don't need much to rehydrate and use for the ramen soup. One length should be enough. 

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3 Dried mushrooms

Dried mushrooms, preferably dried shiitake mushrooms, are the meatiness that adds its super flavor to the base ramen broth. You can find these either in small portioned bags or in large bags. Just like the dried wakame, you also don't need a lot of these mushrooms, especially since dried mushrooms have a more intense flavor which can overpower your soup.       

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Photo by Paulo Alampay

4 Noodles 

This is one ingredient you don't have to worry about making! You can hack it and use the instant ramen noodles without using the seasoning packets for your ramen or buy either the fresh or the dried variants available. You can even choose udon if you like the thicker noodles, too! You can find these noodles at your local Asian grocery or the international section of your major supermarket. 

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5 For tonkotsu: Pork Pata or Pork Liempo

If you're making tonkotsu, you're going to need some pork and preferably the pata cut.

Warning: this will increase the level of effort you need to exert to make this kind of ramen. You not only have to wash and clean the pork, but you also have to do this meticulously since any impurities you leave behind can make your broth taste bitter and discolor your broth.  

This is what you have to do: 

  1. 1. Add enough water to a pot with the pork pieces inside to cover the pork.  
  2. 2. Bring to a boil until the scum rises to the surface, around 5 to 10 minutes. 
  3. 3. Pour out the water and scrub the bones and the meat clean of the scum. 
  4. 4. Return the pork back into the pot and pour in enough water again to cover. 
  5. 5. Bring back to a boil, lower to a simmer, and simmer until the pork tender and the broth has turned creamy looking, around 4 hours up to 8 hours. 
  6. 6. Strain and season the broth.  

It's a long process but the result is worth the ramen. 

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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

Miso, Shoyu, or Shio Ramen?  

Not that much of fan of the tonkotsu? You can make other kinds of ramen, too, with this base broth! 

The other ingredients of your kind of ramen can be categorized into these three: miso (fermented soybean paste), shoyu (soy sauce), or shio (salt). You can stir any of these ingredients into your ramen soup, to taste, to make your ramen the way you like it. From a teaspoon to as much as a tablespoon can be added to your soup base and simmered until just heated through again.   

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The only thing missing are the toppings that you want to eat with your ramen. This can range from the sliced chashu (or tender rolled pork belly), the ramen egg or ajitsuke tamago, the ground sesame seeds, and the greens, quartered mushrooms, and other ingredients you want to add to your ramen.  

The road to a great bowl of ramen can be an easy one, a hard one, or even a satisfyingly accomplished one, depending on how much you want to achieve. If you're not in the mood to make it yourself totally from scratch, you can get yourself a ramen kit that is being offered by the famous ramen houses in the Metro. 


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